Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How to Make an Awesome DIY Weeping Angel Costume (when you're bad a making things)

So last Halloween I promised my Facebook friends that I would blog about my 5 year old's desire to be Korra (from Legend of Korra) because I would have to make her costume and I suck at making things and maybe I would crap it up so badly that it would be funny. Then my other two children decided to be obscure characters for whom kid costumes did not exist. And my oldest daughter of course chose something from Doctor Who.

For more about the Korra costume we made, click here.
Isn't their creativity and fondness for nerd culture charming? Well yes, but it means extra work for me and I am not overly fond of extra work. So my mom, who happened to be visiting, helped me to make three pretty unique kid (and dare I say -awesome?) costumes. When they were done, I posted this picture on Facebook and I got a ton of questions and comments, only not about Korra. To my surprise, it was all about the Angel.

People were like: HOLY CRAP. IS THAT A WEEPING ANGEL FROM THE BLINK EPISODE OF DOCTOR WHO?! And then they were all excited and told me how great it looked and I felt very proud and fancy. Except my mom and my 11 year old made the majority of it. I just helped and paid for stuff.

By the way, in case you're wondering - my son is supposed to be a character called Hunter from the video game Destiny (that is arguably totally inappropriate for a nine year old). It's a very cheap GI Joe Cobra costume with a homemade red hood/cape thingee thrown on it.

But back to the Weeping Angel...

We started on the internet. We looked up tons of pictures and read a bunch of cosplay blog posts. It seemed like there were a few key elements: the tunic/dress, the wings, the gray skin, and the scary face. I was optimistic that we could pull this off. We scoured the house looking for stuff we already had that we could adapt but came up empty-handed. So we hit two stores: Party City for wings and face paint and Walmart for everything else.

We picked up some white angel wings for about $25 at Party City. We found some that were sort of... posable. The wings on the Weeping Angels bend back a bit and most angel wings lay flat against your back. They were also relatively inexpensive considering how cool they were. Also, don't buy face paint at Party City. It's twice as expensive as other places.

We then went to Walmart and bought a couple of things:
Apologies for the horrible photography.
  • Two yards of gray athletic fabric on clearance. It sort of looks like something that you would sew into track pants. It was just the right color and and it was super cheap ($7 for 2 yards).
  • Gray footless tights that matched the fabric. We used these for sleeves. I would advise buying a couple of pairs (one to wear under the tunic to make legs look gray and keep your kiddo warm, another for sleeves/arms and an extra in case you get a run in your tights, which happens a lot)
  • "Hammered metal" spray paint in silver. It gives a textured pattern. You can also use "stone" textured spray paint. It was about $5. 
  • Silver/gray hair spray  - which only worked a little on my daughter's pale blonde hair. For dark haired people, you could use white powder (baby powder, dry shampoo, even corn starch which is SUPER cheap).
Because my mom was visiting that week and she cares about doing things the right way instead of the quick way, she insisted I bust out the sewing machine to turn the gray fabric into a simple sheath dress. I was cool with just draping the fabric over my kid and pinning it with safety pins but I was voted down. We cut out two long rectangles, one slightly wider than the other and pinned them together so that the front collar draped a little bit. Then we sewed a couple of inches on each shoulder and a long seam up each side. We didn't really do much else to it other than cut a long, thin strip off the bottom to use as a belt.

My daughter did a little more internet research on the scary angel faces, wondering if we should do special make-up and she found a sweet Weeping Angel mask on Amazon for $15, so we ordered it. When it showed up we were thrilled because it looked amazing but it was also a weird yellowish putty color. So she spray painted that and her wings a silvery "hammered" metal color and they looked great. 11 year olds really, really like to spray paint things, by the way.

I tried to copy the hairstyle of the mask and the photos of the angels we'd seen (with only moderate success) and after she applied gray face paint to her face, neck and hands, I sprayed her hair with gray hair spray to complete the look.

And it looked really great. Most importantly, my kid was so, so happy and having done a lot of the work and planning herself - she felt like she'd accomplished something.

I estimate the whole thing cost about $60 when you factor in the wings, the spray paint, the face paint, hair spray, tights, fabric, etc, which I fully admit is way too much money for a kid's home-made Halloween costume. But the good news is - it was an awesome project for her, my mom (who we don't get to see enough) and I to do together. So it was worth it.

(c) Mommyland Blogs 2013-2014

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